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tv   [untitled]    March 29, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT

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the living, especially in our beautiful city of san francisco, but to destroy this exceptionally valuable open space, used by not only those who live and work in the financial district but by all neighborhoods in san francisco and beyond, would be a travesty in my opinion. families from all over the city better not necessarily belong to the club or are not members can bring their children for tennis and swim lessons. one thing that has not been addressed -- there has been a good deal of comment about the existing club. not one person has spoken against the existing project. it was stated that the status " is good. we feel improvements should and could be made while providing a much-needed renovation and low skill development the site needs. thank you. >> i am in member of the green roof alliance, and i am here to establish our organization's
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support for the project. we ask you to approve it. thank you. >> good afternoon. i am michael taylor. i am a neighborhood resident, and the purchase of it at the athletic facility. i just want to say that this is about the destruction of one of the great athletic facilities. i mean, really, there's no other place to play on the western side of san francisco for tenants. we are not going to accept playing at san francisco tennis club. it is like playing in an indoor, concrete warehouse. the outdoor element of tennis is very important. second only to perhaps the olympic club on the western side of san francisco. this is about the destruction of the athletic facility, and --
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versus replacement of it with a condominium tower. members of the club are not opposed to development of the area. just not a condominium project. so what we would probably prefer to see is a modernization of the athletic facilities, maintaining the tennis courts, modernizing the polls, adding an open space. perhaps providing underground parking for the parking lot adjoining the club. you can still modernize the area, develop it. just do not destroy the existing athletic facility. you are not benefiting the local neighborhood. the neighborhood uses the facility. the people who worked in the
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adjoining financial district use the facility at lunchtime. you cannot go across town to the san francisco tennis club constantly back and forth. additionally, the bay club, located more on the northeast side -- it does not provide good tennis facility. this is a great tennis facility. i strongly urge you to reject the environmental impact report and pursue further different alternative development. thank you. >> [reading names] >> i am here to read a letter on behalf of totally blind -- toby levine, who could not be here today.
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"i am a retired planning commissioner. we spent six years developing a plan for the waterfront. that plan was adopted by the commission in 1997. subsequently, adviser groups were established by the court threw out the waterfront here for several years, i was the chair of the advisory group and am currently a member, though i do not speak for that committee. in the waterfront land use plan, see wall lot 151 is designated a mixed use opportunity site, and a potential units were designated, including five of the eight washington plan. these include public open space, residential housing, parking, retail jobs generators, and recreational enterprises. the waterfront design and access plan, also approved in 1997, is concerned with the issue of reuniting the city with its waterfront. the original committee may not have dreamt that jackson and pacific streets could reach the waterfront, since they were blocked by an impenetrable wall. the current plan removes the wall and makes it possible for
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residents and workers from the nearby neighborhoods to access the waterfront. this may be the most important long-term feature of the plan. i will list the public benefits according to my personal priorities -- pedestrian opening of jackson and pacific to the waterfront once again. 33 units of affordable housing during a time of diminished resources. funds for the port to repair historical buildings and rotting piers. in a public park for children. parking for the public since they will soon remove the parking raj at howard street. substantial an ongoing revenue for the city, and, of course, the construction employment. as you listen to testimony, you will note that had appeared to be the driving force for the termination of this budget. the golden gateway tower east directly across from 8 washington rises 270 feet above the waterfront with the stepping down to soften the image. this very tall, double loaded corridor apartment house will be more and dental by the step
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down a bit from a building here everything around is below 35 feet. if you average the house over the entire site, you will find the average reaches 37 feet. this is not a gigantic, i- blocking project here the project consists of a team of esthetically driven architects and planners who will provide the city with remarkable development which will make us all very proud. they are also receptive to new ideas to improve the product. i have witnessed the project evolved over several years and know they have delivered beautiful restoration of pierce 1/2, 3, and 5. i strongly urge you to support projects and the benefits that it will bring to all of san francisco. thank you. >> good afternoon to commissioners. i am the chair of the coalition
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for san francisco neighborhoods. nine years in housing committee. i would like to read into the record the action of the general assembly of the coalition for san francisco neighborhoods. voted on tuesday, may 18, 2011, and passed the following resolution -- where is the height and massing of the proposed eight-story mixed use luxury condo development at 8 washington street is in appropriately scaled in relationship to the historic structures and in context of the port of san francisco and embarcadero national register of historic district and whereas the project is inappropriate for location along san francisco's waterfront at the edge of the embarcadero and immediately adjacent to sue bierman park and whereas the project would build a wall on the waterfront and a menace the pedestrian experience by blocking scenic views of telegraph hill and coit
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tower, thereby denying tourists and locals alike some of san francisco's iconic views, and whereas the project in combination with already pending projects such as the exploratory m and the proposed cruise ship terminal, along with the america's cup, would exaggerate an already problematic project in the transit situation, and whereas the project is proposed to cast additional shadow on sue bierman park in violation of proposition k, and whereas a to require the destruction of a recreation amenity that is part of the initial development of the golden gateway planned community, and services to not only residents of the golden gateway, but all said franciscans, and whereas a serious failure to create a unified plan for protecting the historic anesthetic integrity of
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the ne waterfront and the port of san francisco's failure to update the waterfront and land use as required by the voters in 1990 and will lead to further and piecemeal approval of incompatible projects such as this one out and the appearance of one of the world spectacular waterfronts. therefore be it resolved that the coalition for sentences could neighborhoods opposes the project at 8 washington street on san francisco's unique and historic waterfront. >> good afternoon. i am representing myself. we have heard a number of sincere people here today
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objecting to this project could have been whipped into a frenzy of fear about change. some people obviously have been staying up nights imagining problems and impacts. the funny thing is the neighbors will be primary beneficiaries of this project, taking a very ugly area that was built as a buffer against the terrible embarcadero freeway, and replacing it with a project that is worthy of the gracious embarcadero boulevard that we have today, a project that will replace the existing private, for-profit health club with a new expanded health club. it is not going away. it is just getting better. the project is not a high rise. the tallest part is 95 feet lower than the adjacent closest golden gateway tower, one of the ugliest and most pedestrian unfriendly developments in the city. along the embarcadero, the
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project is lower than the existing 84-foot height limit. the urban design scheme came from the publicly sponsored ne waterfront land use plan study. that is what set the highest -- the public process. i cannot think of any project that has gone through more public participation than this one. there is no reason why this project should not go ahead and malfeasance -- many reasons why it should. the benefits to the public are huge. $9 million to the mayor's office of housing for affordable housing, and as we have heard, this is virtually the only source of money for moh that we have today. an additional $5 million in initial revenue. $30 million to the infrastructure finance district. $83 million in resources. 3/4 of an acre of open space, and a superb urban design and
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architecture statement. furthermore, activated sidewalks, and a developer that has a sterling reputation based on their past waterfront projects. as a professional planner, i am absolutely confident that it is complete and accurate and should be certified today that the ceqa findings should be adopted, and all of the other approvals that are on the agenda are appropriate and should be adopted today. this is a tremendous opportunity for the city, and we cannot let a small group of self-interested people derail it for all of us. thank you. >> thank you. at this time, i have no more speaker cards with me. there's anybody who's name i have call has not spoken, please come up. if there is anyone who would like to offer additional public comment, please come up. seeing none, the public shearing
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is closed -- the public hearing is close. commissioners? commissioner antonini: thank you. first, i would like to comment on but the -- the final environmental impact report. i think it is clearly complete, accurate, and objective. i will talk to that part of the comments we heard that dealt at least to some degree with the eir. we heard, as both on the advisability of the project itself as well as the eir. there were comments made up on the shadow that might be cast upon the part that is being created in the future, which is spoken to in comments and responses, although i do not believe on the original eir that is necessary to speak to something you are creating in
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the future. it is not an impact on an existing resourced. but it is analyzed anyway. then there was a lot of talk about do is, that it did not adequately analyze the views. i think i did -- it did a very good job. particular reference is made to use from telegraph hill. there are a few pictures where it is really hard to see the difference between it being there and not being there. you certainly can see the ferry building very -- there is probably a place of badly everywhere you can go with you can align yourself in a position, as was pointed out in the document where if you align yourself in a certain spot, the presence of the project will keep you from seeing telegraph hill -- coit tower as an example. but again, i think the analysis is complete and thorough. a lot of comments were made on other issues, which i will deal
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with in the future. advocacy's for a block height of 84 feet, which again is not something before us. it would not be advisable, and, of course, commons in regards to the golden gateway swim and tennis club. on a few other things that were talked about -- pile driving was address, i think, adequately. the construction impacts are adequately address. also, sea level rise was analyzed and mentioned as a possible factor is that were to occur. the parking at the ferry building, which is an area of contention, which i will deal with later and the nature of that and why it is being argued is not a ceqa issue. parking in general is a ceqa issue. it was completely analyzed, but the fact that the ferry building ownership no longer would have the right to the parking as revenue from the parking at 351
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see what 351 is not a ceqa issue. that is not -- and also, there is no intensification of use by the project's, changes that have occurred between comments and responses and the present, so therefore, unless there is an intensification of use that would have to be realized. in fact, the use is less because the project has become smaller. there have been fewer parking spaces, fewer residential units. in that case, that is not something that has to be looked at again. i think the analysis of america's cup impact are adequate. it is a moving target, and unfortunately, the impacts are becoming less from unfortunate developments that have occurred in the last month or so. hopefully, we can avoid that kind of thing happening again in the future. that is, as i say, a moving target.
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those are my main thoughts about the adequacy of the eir, which i think, is extremely well done. very professional, as always. especially in this case, the project that has been going on for so many years. ever since i was first on the commission in 2002. it has been analyzed and over analyzed for about 10,000 years. >> commissioners, please accept my apology. there was a request for a break by staff for just five minutes. we will pick up with commissioner commons. we are going to take a five- minute break. thank you. >> we are back in session. commissioners, i believe for --
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we are in the midst of public comment. >> if i call your name, please come and speak. >> thank you. i am the founder of waterfront for all. we are a grass-roots investors -- a grass-roots organization. this provides a wonderful opportunity to update land uses. we strongly support 8 washington and recommend the commission approve it. we ask that 8 washington you consider 8 will provide. -- we ask that you consider what 8 washington will provide. i received virtually zero benefits from the site. it has an out of date jim. it cost $200 per month.
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this is not the ymca. this is a private club that i cannot afford. there are two parking lots and the infamous blocking of our view and prevents it public access to the waterfront. contrast that to what 8 washington provides. i think the 99% will benefit from this project. we will take down that horrible greenwald, which is necessary, by the way, for it tennis players to play in the background. it will provide new housing in the number of other benefits that you of offered. >> i think it fits perfectly in character of the neighborhood. i realize it is concerning to many of you, but this project site would be distinguished from any future development down the waterfront because of some of the proximity.
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the slippery slope argument is not a strong argument. in addition, the fact that these are market raise -- market rate houses, that will be more tax revenue. in the final analysis, the status quo only serves a small elite trying to preserve their million-dollar view. given our deteriorating infrastructure, i believe this is an opportunity we should not pass up. just as an aside, as a newly- married person planning on having a family, the reason i would leave is because of lack of planning for our school and lack of housing. new housing at any level is important. it reduces the demand and it will bring prices down across the board. we urge you to support the project and recommended its approval. thank you. >> thank you. kim, corin, and daphne.
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>> good afternoon, commissioners. money mess lydia. thank you for your time. a i am -- my name is lydia. "dear commissioners, we urge the planning and recreation-park commission to approve the 8 washington item for march 22. so many items have gone before public hearings. few projects proposed such a positive use of under-utilized land, which is certainly 8 washington case at and the embarcadero. the project proposes new open space, of view, for the water from. -- for the waterfront.
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as redesign, the 8 washington project will provide residents with a modern aquatics center, create a children's sculpture garden, and restaurants and retail stores. the san francisco chamber of commerce urges the commission to take all actions necessary to approve this significant project. thank you very much. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is jim, i am a resident. i have had a project to look at this project in detail. i think it is a fantastic project that should be supported. like so many things in our life, we have changed.
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this is a project in an under- utilized area of the city that solves many problems and would be an asset to the city. any new housing in san francisco is an asset, regardless of price. i think it is a fantastic project that should be started and approved. thank you. >> hello. i am new to san francisco, so it is exciting to be participating in something like this. i moved here a year ago from brooklyn, new york. i support this project for two reasons. the first one is i work downtown. i often take walks with my co- workers to the pier, passing through the site. it would be great to have that
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area developed with green public spaces, and i would definitely patronize the retail and cafes their. second, when friends visit, i always take them here. i think the project would contribute to energy and vibrancy in the area. i think it is important to san francisco. that is why i support the project. thank you for the opportunity to speak. >> if the folks can speak right into the microphone, that would be helpful. diane, marcy albert, paula h ouston. >> good afternoon, commissioners. 9 amiscorin woods. -- my name is corin woods.
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i a fall of this project since the first rfp. i followed the embarcadero planning study, which was extremely well done. i think the developer and the port have come up with a really good plan. i supported it strongly. i think the one thing that has not been talked about here today is how difficult it is to develop public trust property for anything other than maritime use. and the fact that this project does of trust land swap so that the state's of california and the citizens of the state of california have those benefits, but at the same time, the project has a financial basis
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where it can succeed are both very important points. you cannot build -- the port could not have bills on what was the parking lot, which is public trust land, anything other than public trust consisting uses. to fact that the pacific waterfront partners have figured out a way to do this, to combine those properties, do all the things -- i do not know that i went to all 100 meetings that they had, but i went to a lot of them, and i think they were very responsive to the community and what -- into what the poor needed to get out of this. i urge you to -- and to what the port and needed to get out of this. i urge you to approve and let's go forward with this. thank you.
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>> paula. i am at a resident of district 3. i am all layperson. i will not repeat what others have said today. i am not an expert, but i have been paying attention the last few years. i have seen this project evolve and change and be tweaked and i think it is time to fish or cut bait. i think everything is in order theeir -- with the eir to be certified. i urge you to do so. thank you. >> maureen, cecelia. >> my name in marcy albert.
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i also live in the area. i like walking around the waterfront. i urge you to certify the eir. thanks. >> i will call some more names. -- i will call some more names. june, terra angela, toni. >> good morning, commissioners. i am at 21-year resident of san francisco. i am here to speak in favor a 8 washington of the project -- i am here to speak in favor of the 8 washington project. the private the way club is not
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disappearing. the developer is building a new $12 million fitness facility and four new polls. secondly, and most important for those of us who cannot afford to belong to the private club, it opens the project to the public. the proposed project is dedicated to public space. 8 washington opens up the eastern side of the waterfront to all san franciscans, including wide landscape areas along the embarcadero and jackson street, about 20,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, a new 4500-square- foot public park with various facilities for children to play. the project as onto many public parks and recreation facility is located nearby. the eir says there are 10 publicly-


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